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Compare patent and utility solutions in Vietnam

Patent and utility solution are two objects having many similarities in the field of Intellectual Property. They all create valuable solutions and processes in the fields of production and business as well as in life. However, with many similarities, many people often confuse these objects. The following article of Viet An Law will help you distinguish patents and utility solutions in the most specific way.

Legal basis

  • The Law on Intellectual Property 2005, as amended and supplemented in 2009, 2019, 2022.

General overview of patent and utility solution in Vietnam

What is an patent?

  • An patent is a technical solution in the form of a product (including structure or the element) or process that solves a specified problem by applying natural laws.
  • Patent products are protected exclusively through a patent or utility solution.
  • Examples: Patents in telephones such as antennas, patents related to input and signal processing, patents related to display devices (touch screen); functional circuit; power supply (battery).

What is patent protection title?

A legal document recognizing ownership rights to inventions by competent state agencies. In order to protect monopolies as prescribed by law with inventions meeting protection standards.

What is a utility solution?

The concept of a utility solution is not specified in the current Intellectual Property Law, but it can be understood that a utility solution is also a technical solution, which is newer than the technical level in the world . However, it does not need to meet the same level of creativity as patent. The purpose of utility solutions is to create products that improve or augment the functionality of previous patents.

Similarities between patent and utility solution

  • They are all subjects of Intellectual Property Law protected by law;
  • All must register for protection with exclusivity at the National Office of Intellectual Property and be protected by law;
  • Fully comply with all provisions of the Intellectual Property Law on registration, renewal, maintenance and termination of protection;
  • All have novelty and industrial applicability;
  • Both exist in three forms as element, structure or processes;
  • The method of remaining in force is the same: pay the annual renewal fee.

Difference between patent and utility solution

Criteria Invention Utility solution
Protection form The owner of an patent when registering for protection will be granted a patent. The utility solution owner when registering for protection is granted a utility solution Patent.
Protection conditions An patent is protected in the form of a patent if it meets the following conditions:

  • Has novelty;
  • Have an inventative nature;
  • Being susceptible of industrial application.
An patent is protected in the form of a utility solution patent if the following conditions are met:

  • Not common sense;
  • Has novelty;
  • Capable of industrial application.
Term of protection The term of patent protection takes effect from the date of grant and lasts until the end of 20 years from the date of valid filing. The term of protection of patents in the form of utility solution patents is effective from the date of grant and lasts until the end of 10 years from the date of valid filing.

The inventative nature of patent

  • Through the above comparison table, it can be seen that Vietnam’s intellectual property law now distinguishes between patents of patents and monopolies of utility laws by inventative nature, which must be higher than that of a utility solution.
  • An patent is considered to have an inventive level if it is based on technical solutions that have been publicly disclosed in the form of use, written description or in any other form in the country or abroad. other than before the filing date or prior to the priority date of the patent application in which case the patent application enjoys priority, the patent is an inventive step, which cannot be easily created for the patent with a person with average knowledge of the respective technical field.
  • In fact, in Vietnam almost all application have only been granted for utility solutions fewer than patent, because they have not met the conditions for international inventative nature.
  • Accordingly, in the patent application, there is an additional option for the applicant to automatically convert into a useful solution registration when the conditions for patent protection are not met. Avoid cases when the subject does not meet the criteria for patent protection, the applicant must resubmit it into an application for registration of useful solutions.

Procedures for registration of patents and utility solutions

The utility solution application is similar to the patent application .

Step 1: Research protection ability before applying

In order to avoid conflicts with other people’s intellectual property rights and to save time, the first step to take is to research the website of the National Office of Intellectual Property or the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) before submitting the application.

Step 2: Prepare documents and submit the application for registration at the National Office of Intellectual Property

Those who wish to register their patents will file applications through two forms:

  • Send by post to the Headquarters of the National Office of Intellectual Property;
  • Apply directly to the National Office of Intellectual Property.
  • Through Intellectual Property Representative Organisation such as Viet An Law to conduct the procedure.

Accordingly, the NOIP is headquartered in Ha Hoi City and has 2 representative offices in Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang.

After you have prepared your patent application, application owner should submit your application as soon as possible to get the earliest priority date for registration. In Vietnam, the first-to-file principle is applied, so whoever applies first will get the first priority.

Step 3: The NOIP examines the formality of the application

  • NOIP conducts inspection of the compliance with the regulations on the form of the application, and considers the request to maintain validity within 1 month from the date of receipt of the request. From there, the NOIP will make a conclusion whether the application is valid or not.
  • If the application is not valid, the NOIP will set a time limit of 2 months from the date of notification. The applicant will make corrections or provide feedback. After the above time limit, if the omission is not corrected or the omission is unsatisfactory, there are no objections or unreasonable objections, the NOIP shall issue a decision to refuse to continue examination.

Step 4: Publication application

After there is a decision to accept the valid application, the application will be published in the Industrial Property Official Gazette.

Step 5: The NOIP conduct substantive examination for the application

Eligible applications will continue to be reviewed in terms of content. After receiving the request for substantive examination from the subject, the NOIP will appraise through the assessment of the protection ability of the object stated in the application based on the protection conditions.

Step 6: Get a certificate of protection of patent/ utility solution

After the application has gone through the evaluation stages and the results show that the application is eligible for a protection title, the application owner will pay the title fee and will be granted the certificate original by the National Office of Intellectual Property.

Viet An Law is known to its clients as an intellectual property representative organization operating legally and reputable in Vietnam, specializing in helping businesses and individuals establish rights to the intellectual property objects, protecte them under Vietnamese law and other countries around the world. If there are any difficulties related to intellectual property law, please contact Viet An Law for detailed advice!

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